NaNoWriMo is for Nurses, Policemen, and You!

| 2 minute read

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the perfect jumpstart to an inspiring writer’s career! NaNoWriMo is a challenge for writers to create a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1st and November 30th. It is an intense mental challenge to put 1,700 words per day onto paper, and thousands of writers from around the world push themselves to get a full novel from their imagination onto the page.

NaNoWriMo is celebrated by writers whose experiences range from beginners to New York Times Best Sellers, and the range of subject matter is astounding. Writers come from all walks of life, and they bring with them their own experiences. Ernest Hemingway brought a different kind of life to the page than J. K. Rowling. Even Pulitzer Prize winning novels are vastly different; The Brief Life of Oscar Wao is nothing like The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

What makes these stories so diverse?

Many great writers held rich careers before and even during their writing careers. Stephen King was a teacher for years as he wrote a number of novels. Agatha Christie was a medical assistant during World War I. George Orwell was a policeman.

Every author brings their own touch to their work, and as you work your way through the pages, you’ll be weaving parts of your life into every word. It’s unavoidable, and the best way to add to what you can write about is by experiencing more than writing. Great writers enrich their lives with jobs and education, giving each writer a specially catered wealth of real-life experience from which to draw.

How can you give yourself the same advantage?

Before writing the massively popular novel, Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton began his medical rotations after earning his M.D. from Harvard University. He then used his knowledge of biology to write a number of science-based fiction. He even used his knowledge of the field to create the TV show ER. Crichton and many others were able to build on their experience with an education.

Nation Novel Writing Month is a difficult challenge, but once you get to the end of November, you could have 50,000 words for your new manuscript. After you reach the word count, it’ll be time to start considering what to write for next year. How are you going to find inspiration?

Consider the route that so many have taken before. Explore a new degree. With a new degree, you’ll not only add to what you know and write about, but you’ll be able to discover new possibilities in your professional career as well.

Southern Miss offers more than 50 online programs to help you have a richer mind for your writing and professional goals. With an always-expanding lineup of programs, you’ll have a myriad of opportunities to expand your knowledge and prep for National Novel Writing Month for years to come. And if your participation in the challenge this year, you can learn more, follow other writers, and track your progress at

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